OK, let's try this...
The aircraft facing us is perpendicular to a runway that's being used as the airshow centerline. The runway is some distance behind the aircraft, but appears closer due to depth-of-field aspects of the photo.
If memory serves, the CAF used to re-create the B-24 attack on the Ploesti oil refineries from WWII, and it's the explosions from these (or whatever other event they were recreating) going off along the centerline.
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